Croatian olive oils are declared the healthiest; this results from a three-year international project ARISTOIL, founded by the EU's INTERREG MED program.
The project included analysis of over 4000 extra virgin olive oils over three year period. The Aristoil project aimed to determine the extent to which the analyzed olive oils contained a high phenol content (>250 mg/kg). According to European legislation, such extra virgin olive oils can be declared as a product with a positive health effect.
Croatian extra virgin olive oils showed the best health characteristics, i.e. 97% of the collected oils from Croatia had an increased phenolic compound, an average of 655 mg/kg. This result is high above the default 250 mg/kg according to EU regulations.
- Spain has 95% of the oils that meet this requirement, and their average phenol content is lower - 521 mg/kg.
- Greek oils are at about 70%;
- Cypriot at 60%;
- and Italian at 55%, with their average phenol content significantly lower.
If you want to learn more about polyphenols, we recommend reading an article ´Why is olive oil so popular?´.